The Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates. In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong? Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice. If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition. A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market. Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision. Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids. Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action. Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education. Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook. Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust. Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children. People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students. Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum. Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time. Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence. The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education. Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy? Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.” Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in. Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too. Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget. A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy.  Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues. That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts. Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale. As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well. Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts. If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget. Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty. Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities. I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases. Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively. My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners.  

Alfred “Butch” Schultz Resides at 500 Carriage Lane Occupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]] Sandy Gehrke, incumbent Resides at 866 Wyldwood Lane Occupation: Real Estate broker   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]] Sue Kattas Resides at 200 Seventh St. N. Occupation: Artist and educator   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]] Rob Brown Resides at 521 Omaha Road Occupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Joe Wusterbarth Resides at 260 Cove Lane Occupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Lowell Enerson Resides at 293 Townsvalley Road Occupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates. In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong? Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice. If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition. A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market. Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision. Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids. Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action. Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education. Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook. Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust. Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children. People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students. Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum. Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time. Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence. The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education. Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy? Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.” Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in. Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too. Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget. A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy.  Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues. That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts. Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale. As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well. Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts. If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget. Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty. Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities. I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases. Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively. My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]] Alfred “Butch” Schultz Resides at 500 Carriage Lane Occupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field.  

Sandy Gehrke, incumbent Resides at 866 Wyldwood Lane Occupation: Real Estate broker   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]] Sue Kattas Resides at 200 Seventh St. N. Occupation: Artist and educator   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]] Rob Brown Resides at 521 Omaha Road Occupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Joe Wusterbarth Resides at 260 Cove Lane Occupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Lowell Enerson Resides at 293 Townsvalley Road Occupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates. In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong? Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice. If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition. A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market. Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision. Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids. Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action. Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education. Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook. Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust. Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children. People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students. Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum. Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time. Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence. The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education. Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy? Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.” Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in. Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too. Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget. A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy.  Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues. That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts. Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale. As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well. Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts. If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget. Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty. Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities. I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases. Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively. My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]] Alfred “Butch” Schultz Resides at 500 Carriage Lane Occupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]] Sandy Gehrke, incumbent Resides at 866 Wyldwood Lane Occupation: Real Estate broker  

Sue Kattas Resides at 200 Seventh St. N. Occupation: Artist and educator   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]] Rob Brown Resides at 521 Omaha Road Occupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Joe Wusterbarth Resides at 260 Cove Lane Occupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Lowell Enerson Resides at 293 Townsvalley Road Occupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates. In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong? Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice. If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition. A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market. Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision. Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids. Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action. Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education. Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook. Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust. Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children. People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students. Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum. Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time. Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence. The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education. Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy? Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.” Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in. Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too. Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget. A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy.  Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues. That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts. Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale. As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well. Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts. If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget. Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty. Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities. I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases. Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively. My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]] Alfred “Butch” Schultz Resides at 500 Carriage Lane Occupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]] Sandy Gehrke, incumbent Resides at 866 Wyldwood Lane Occupation: Real Estate broker   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]] Sue Kattas Resides at 200 Seventh St. N. Occupation: Artist and educator  

Rob Brown Resides at 521 Omaha Road Occupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Joe Wusterbarth Resides at 260 Cove Lane Occupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Lowell Enerson Resides at 293 Townsvalley Road Occupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates. In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong? Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice. If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition. A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market. Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision. Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids. Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action. Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education. Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook. Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust. Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children. People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students. Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum. Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time. Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence. The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education. Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy? Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.” Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in. Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too. Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget. A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy.  Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues. That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts. Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale. As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well. Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts. If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget. Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty. Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities. I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases. Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively. My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]] Alfred “Butch” Schultz Resides at 500 Carriage Lane Occupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]] Sandy Gehrke, incumbent Resides at 866 Wyldwood Lane Occupation: Real Estate broker   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]] Sue Kattas Resides at 200 Seventh St. N. Occupation: Artist and educator   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]] Rob Brown Resides at 521 Omaha Road Occupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens  

Joe Wusterbarth Resides at 260 Cove Lane Occupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Lowell Enerson Resides at 293 Townsvalley Road Occupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates. In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong? Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice. If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition. A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market. Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision. Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids. Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action. Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education. Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook. Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust. Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children. People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students. Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum. Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time. Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence. The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education. Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy? Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.” Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in. Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too. Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget. A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy.  Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues. That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts. Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale. As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well. Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts. If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget. Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty. Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities. I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases. Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively. My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]] Alfred “Butch” Schultz Resides at 500 Carriage Lane Occupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field.   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]] Sandy Gehrke, incumbent Resides at 866 Wyldwood Lane Occupation: Real Estate broker   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]] Sue Kattas Resides at 200 Seventh St. N. Occupation: Artist and educator   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]] Rob Brown Resides at 521 Omaha Road Occupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens   [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]] Joe Wusterbarth Resides at 260 Cove Lane Occupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation  

Lowell Enerson Resides at 293 Townsvalley Road Occupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates.In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong?Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice.If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition.A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market.Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision.Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids.Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action.Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education.Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook.Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities.You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust.Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children.People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students.Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum.Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time.Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence.The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education.Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy?Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.”Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in.Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too.Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget.A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy. Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues.That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts.Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale.As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well.Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts.If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget.Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty.Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities.I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases.Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively.My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners. 

Alfred “Butch” SchultzResides at 500 Carriage LaneOccupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]]Sandy Gehrke, incumbentResides at 866 Wyldwood LaneOccupation: Real Estate broker [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]]Sue KattasResides at 200 Seventh St. N.Occupation: Artist and educator [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]]Rob BrownResides at 521 Omaha RoadOccupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Joe WusterbarthResides at 260 Cove LaneOccupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Lowell EnersonResides at 293 Townsvalley RoadOccupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates.In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong?Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice.If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition.A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market.Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision.Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids.Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action.Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education.Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook.Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities.You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust.Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children.People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students.Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum.Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time.Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence.The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education.Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy?Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.”Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in.Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too.Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget.A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy. Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues.That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts.Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale.As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well.Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts.If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget.Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty.Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities.I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases.Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively.My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]]Alfred “Butch” SchultzResides at 500 Carriage LaneOccupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field. 

Sandy Gehrke, incumbentResides at 866 Wyldwood LaneOccupation: Real Estate broker [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]]Sue KattasResides at 200 Seventh St. N.Occupation: Artist and educator [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]]Rob BrownResides at 521 Omaha RoadOccupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Joe WusterbarthResides at 260 Cove LaneOccupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Lowell EnersonResides at 293 Townsvalley RoadOccupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates.In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong?Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice.If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition.A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market.Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision.Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids.Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action.Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education.Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook.Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities.You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust.Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children.People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students.Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum.Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time.Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence.The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education.Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy?Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.”Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in.Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too.Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget.A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy. Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues.That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts.Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale.As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well.Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts.If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget.Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty.Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities.I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases.Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively.My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]]Alfred “Butch” SchultzResides at 500 Carriage LaneOccupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]]Sandy Gehrke, incumbentResides at 866 Wyldwood LaneOccupation: Real Estate broker 

Sue KattasResides at 200 Seventh St. N.Occupation: Artist and educator [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]]Rob BrownResides at 521 Omaha RoadOccupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Joe WusterbarthResides at 260 Cove LaneOccupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Lowell EnersonResides at 293 Townsvalley RoadOccupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates.In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong?Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice.If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition.A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market.Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision.Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids.Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action.Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education.Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook.Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities.You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust.Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children.People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students.Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum.Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time.Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence.The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education.Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy?Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.”Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in.Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too.Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget.A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy. Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues.That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts.Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale.As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well.Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts.If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget.Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty.Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities.I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases.Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively.My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]]Alfred “Butch” SchultzResides at 500 Carriage LaneOccupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]]Sandy Gehrke, incumbentResides at 866 Wyldwood LaneOccupation: Real Estate broker [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]]Sue KattasResides at 200 Seventh St. N.Occupation: Artist and educator 

Rob BrownResides at 521 Omaha RoadOccupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Joe WusterbarthResides at 260 Cove LaneOccupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Lowell EnersonResides at 293 Townsvalley RoadOccupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates.In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong?Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice.If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition.A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market.Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision.Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids.Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action.Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education.Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook.Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities.You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust.Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children.People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students.Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum.Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time.Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence.The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education.Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy?Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.”Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in.Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too.Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget.A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy. Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues.That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts.Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale.As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well.Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts.If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget.Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty.Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities.I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases.Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively.My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]]Alfred “Butch” SchultzResides at 500 Carriage LaneOccupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]]Sandy Gehrke, incumbentResides at 866 Wyldwood LaneOccupation: Real Estate broker [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]]Sue KattasResides at 200 Seventh St. N.Occupation: Artist and educator [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]]Rob BrownResides at 521 Omaha RoadOccupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens 

Joe WusterbarthResides at 260 Cove LaneOccupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612121","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"549","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Lowell EnersonResides at 293 Townsvalley RoadOccupation: Retired city and watershed administratorThe Star-Observer posed two questions to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Hudson Board of Education in the April 7 election. Seats on the Hudson Board of Education are three-year terms. Sandy Gehrke is the only incumbent among the candidates.In light of the current culture of school choice and vouchers for private education, how do you as a representative of public education, keep Hudson schools competitive and strong?Butch Schultz: In the early 90s school choice was offered to families in Milwaukee and more recently in Racine. This voucher system, or freedom of school choice, is now being proposed for the rest of Wisconsin. In a very limited way open enrollment which we have today is a type of school choice.If we look at our state and private colleges they thrive on what they have to offer through competition. Businesses also must provide the best product at a reasonable price to succeed-again competition.A strong school like Hudson has nothing to fear. In fact competition will make it even better. It will instill more accountability and require us to maintain and better our product. With our high academic achievement, successful extracurricular programs and excellent staff, Hudson will remain the school of choice in a competitive market.Had school choice been an option when my kids were in school I may have looked at other schools but would have chosen Hudson. It was the best fit for my family. This may not have been the case for others and I would have respected their decision.Public and private schools working together, competing with each other, will ultimately improve their product, an excellent education for our kids.Sandy Gehrke: To stay competitive Hudson schools must outperform private schools. We must constantly be reviewing curricula making sure it is current and relevant in preparing our kids for jobs, further job training or additional schooling. We must make every effort to hire and retain the best teachers. The level of education we provide is directly linked to the courses we offer and the quality of the teachers in our classrooms. Creative “Academy” options and updated technology offerings are examples of our efforts to improve curricula alternatives. Our science rooms needed improving and updating, and the school board recently voted to do that. There are other areas of the current HS building that should be remodeled and renovated, and I would support that action.Expansion of the HS building may also become necessary. HSD should also perform a thorough analysis of Common Core. It’s extremely costly and focuses on high stakes testing and data collection. HSD could better spend Common Core dollars on improving facilities. By consistently enhancing and changing our courses to reflect today’s job market, putting skilled, dedicated teachers in our classrooms and improving and updating the high school and middle school buildings HSD will always be in a position to compete with private education.Rob Brown: We live in an ever shrinking world. Today Hudson School District (HSD) classrooms video chat with other classrooms in varying parts of the world, and a movement to learning through critical thinking and hands-on exposure to cancer research, as an example, is becoming the norm versus absorbing a textbook.Even with the likely state funding reductions created by the voucher program, our district must continue to intelligently invest in the HSD 2025 strategic plan in place today. The plan focuses effort towards developing our teachers, staff and students for 21st century learning and critical project-based thinking. This requires investment in teacher retention/development, and in physical space and technology especially given the competitive pressure presented by Hudson’s proximity to the Twin Cities.You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The school board needs to work with administration and teachers to define metrics for any investment beyond only test results. Results of the investment need to be communicated to the taxpayer to provide transparency and build trust.Lowell Enerson: The board would have to look at the effect of school choice and voucher programs for private education and what it would mean to our district in revenue. I would hope that because Hudson schools have done an excellent job educating students, parents would choose to remain with the district. As a representative for Hudson Public Schools, I believe it is imperative that our schools are ready to deliver a 21th century education to our children. This would mean providing the appropriate facilities, support for our educators through professional development and competitive compensation, and the best academic and support programs for our children.People are free to choose where they want their children to go to school, and I support that. However, I believe that if vouchers are given for private voucher schools and independent charter schools, those schools should be held to the same accountability standards our public schools. If elected I would work with the Hudson School Board and the state to strengthen the public school to maintain a strong and competitive public education system for the future of our students.Joe Wusterbarth: It starts with the staff. How do we attract and retain talented people? Are our compensation and benefits for teachers and other staff competitive with the surrounding areas? After thirty years of experience in the corporate world, I am convinced that high performing and quality employees are the key to an organization’s success. Next would be keeping the core curriculum strong by providing classes and opportunities for improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the competitive world. Project Lead the Way and other learning academy options which currently exist at Hudson High School are prime examples of keeping the curriculum strong and enriched. I also believe maintaining a quality staff will directly influence developing and enhancing a strong curriculum.Finally, making sure facilities are kept current. This does not necessarily mean building a whole new facility, but rather the more cost effective approach of maintaining, improving, and possibly expanding what already exists. The school board just recently approved spending to upgrade four science labs which have not been updated since 1998. I feel this is necessary, ongoing types of improvements that make good common sense and are more cost effective for all taxpayers at the same time.Sue Kattas: If the voucher program as stated in the Walker budget is instituted, taxpayer public education dollars will directly fund private school vouchers. That money will be taken away from our school district. As a candidate for representing public education, my priority is to keep Hudson schools competitive and strong. If locally elected legislators cannot resolve this issue in our behalf, then we must re-focus on how to maintain the curriculum and programs and not lose our strong position of excellence.The voucher program has not demonstrated equal academic achievement like public education. Private schools are not accountable to the same standards, teacher credentialing requirements, or meeting ADA regulations. The voucher system is not ready for utilization in its current design. If this reshuffle of per pupil funding happens we need to review district budget reductions. As a priority we must preserve our proven curriculum, our highly successful outreach and post-secondary preparation programs, and not lose teachers and principals who are the driving force for our recognized success. We also need to preserve the safe welfare of students. The taxpayers who spoke with me do not want state aid cuts on the backs of students and public education.Considering the impact of Gov. Walker’s budget on school districts, how would you propose the HSD compensate for the cut in state aid? Would you favor programming and/or staff cuts? Would you favor an increase in the school tax levy?Butch Schultz: Remember Chicken Little -- “The sky is falling.” Today that approach is often taken by the media. Unfortunately, the key word missing in the budget question is “proposed.”Budgeting in any corporation is a process and in our state a two-year proposal. Departments identify their needs (a wish list), and management counters. Right now the numbers being thrown around are somewhat “misleading,” according to one of our elected representatives. Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We can’t spend more than we take in.Another factor, as our community grows and its value increases, state funding decreases. Not only for schools, but other municipalities too.Nevertheless, to be fiscally responsible, our school district needs to be prepared. Most speculate that “the sky” will not fall, but we may have to tighten our belt. Our school staff and administrators have to evaluate how they do their job and where efficiencies can be implemented. Then prioritize and develop a contingency plan. It is not the board’s job to tell them where the changes should be, but to review their plan that will bring about a balanced budget.A short term solution may be to use our fund balance, but that is only good for a year or two at the most. No one wants cuts, and no one wants taxes raised. It is never easy. Sandy Gehrke: It is very likely Gov. Walker’s proposed education budget will change when state revenue figures are finalized. That’s what happened last year. After initial 2014 estimates, Hudson received an additional $150 per student, around $835,000. HSD spent it on wage increases. Gov. Walker and the State Finance Committee have publicly stated that if there is additional revenue, education is their priority. There will be some decrease in state aid due to Hudson’s declining enrollment, but that has nothing to do with Walker’s budget. There is approximately $4 million in a fund designated for secondary space issues.That money could be available to cover potential revenue shortages. It is money the taxpayers already paid into the system. I would use those funds first. I would look at curricula and determine if there are any class offerings that are underutilized by students. I would not favor cutting positions and enlarging class sizes due to revenue cuts. However, declining kindergarten enrollments may require a future adjustment to staffing through retirement or attrition. I would not favor increasing property taxes to gain revenue. Through retiring debt and use of existing funds the district should be able to weather any revenue cuts.Rob Brown: A cut in state aid should not immediately fall to the local taxpayer. My efforts would be to continue to leverage private enterprise for involvement and financial investment in education. Today, the Hudson School District (HSD) actively involves 3M and other businesses through investment and participation. HSD should actively seek other private involvement on a greater scale.As I work with school districts across the Midwest, more and more are creating private/public partnerships; our district should do more of this as well.Furthermore, the HSD should actively seek other means of revenue generation such as trade marking the Hudson Raider logo. Today potentially thousands of dollars in revenue are lost each year because the district has not protected its rights. There are other opportunities for revenue generation to be considered which will reduce the financial impact to the local taxpayer and without programming or staff cuts.If elected, I will work with the school board and administration on uncovering additional sources of revenue regardless of the outcome of Gov. Walker’s budget.Lowell Enerson: In regard to Governor Walker’s budget for school districts, the school board and administration would look at the total district budget line item by line item, as they do every year, to see where or if cuts could be made. Then, if needed, the board would look at where deeper cuts could possibly be made. After this process was completed, the board would have to look at raising taxes as the board has done in the past years as state aid funding has been reduced. We need to account for that reduction by being as efficient as possible, but we are most likely going to have to raise taxes to fund that reduction. I don’t believe our children’s education and the future of our state and country should be shorted. I feel the investment in education is well worth it, and quite frankly, our duty.Joe Wusterbarth: The first thing to look at is what kind of debt restructuring can be done to free up funds. There is approximately $5 million committed for secondary space in the general fund that could possibly help offset shortfalls from the state. In addition, I understand that debt retirement of approximately $40 million over the next few years through 2018 will allow us to free up additional funds through reduced annual principle and interest payments. There appear to be viable financing options to alleviate state aid cuts as well as to improve and possibly expand current facilities.I would not be in favor of involuntary staff or program cuts. In my opinion it is not fair for an innocent individual to pay for someone else’s mismanagement. I would much rather manage headcount through natural attrition such as retirements. I also would not be in favor of going back to the taxpayers by increasing the school levy. With approximately $45 million of funds becoming available over the next few years, it appears that we have financing alternatives available to address operating cost increases and current facility improvement and/or expansion while avoiding more drastic measures as staff cuts and property tax increases.Sue Kattas: The Walker budget reductions to public education may still be modified. Write to your local legislator. A school board letter has been sent asking the $150 per pupil cut be withdrawn. How do we compensate for this loss in state aid? I would protect the core of education that is teachers teaching and students learning. I propose no cuts to teaching staff and principals to maintain our high-quality achievement. They receive praise from parents for the superior education their children are receiving. Like tailoring a suit, you make a cut or tuck that keeps the suit functional while fitting a bit tighter. No saving is achieved if a tailor leaves off an entire sleeve. We try to keep our system intact with many small reductions so it can continue to run effectively.My priority and focus is on our students. We can collaborate with other districts seeking insights and solutions. We can come together as a community and do fundraising and utilize community resources for classes, activities and programs. We already have organizations in the community as models. Walker’s 2016-17 spending caps prevent a school levy instead $5-10 going as tax relief to homeowners. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612071","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"198"}}]]Alfred “Butch” SchultzResides at 500 Carriage LaneOccupation: retired from 3M Co. worked in the technical education and documentation field. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612115","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"210"}}]]Sandy Gehrke, incumbentResides at 866 Wyldwood LaneOccupation: Real Estate broker [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612116","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"205"}}]]Sue KattasResides at 200 Seventh St. N.Occupation: Artist and educator [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612117","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"300","title":"","width":"178"}}]]Rob BrownResides at 521 Omaha RoadOccupation: Regional Director - BPS Energy @ Siemens [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"1612118","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"548","title":"","width":"400"}}]]Joe WusterbarthResides at 260 Cove LaneOccupation: Engineering manager at 3M Corporation 

Lowell EnersonResides at 293 Townsvalley RoadOccupation: Retired city and watershed administrator

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